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The Milton Measure

Todd Bland Earns $635,392 Annually [Persky Award Winner]

Head of School ranks fourth in New England’s highest-paid headmasters

by Katie Berry on Friday, September 19th, 2014

You could do so much with $635,392. You could rent a camel (excluding food or transport) for almost nine and a half months. You could buy 158,848 chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches or 10,589 Milton Academy sweatshirts. Or, if luxurious transportation is more your style, your options include two Lamborghinis (one for you, one for your best friend) or half of a personal helicopter. Perhaps, if you were feeling particularly generous, you could give 15 day students each a one year education at Milton Academy. Alternatively, you could pay the head of a New England boarding school for one year.

According to several recently published articles in June 2014 on Business Insider and GoLocal among others, the average annual salary of the top ten New England private school heads reached $617,304. The articles were compiled from the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) “Form 990,” information submitted by schools and other non-profit institutions, detailing the financial statements, missions and accomplishments. Within these articles, our very own Mr. Bland ranks fourth on the list, earning $635,392 annually.

According to Mr. Bland, schools’ trustees “consider the goals they have… and then recruit, and hire, someone with the characteristics to accomplish those goals and do the job well,” when formulating head of schools’ salaries.

Specifically, decisions regarding salaries are made by a sub-group of Milton’s Board of Trustees called the Compensation Committee, whose “outside expert” collects “comparable information, evaluates Milton’s compensation levels within that context, and… provides guidance,” said Brad Bloom, the Board of Trustees’ president.

Mr. Bloom said the committee also “evaluates individual performance against predetermined goals as a method of establishing where an individual’s compensation should fall.” In other words, the Compensation Committee determines Mr. Bland’s salary by comparing both Milton’s performance to other similar schools’ in addition to Mr. Bland’s accomplishments to pre-established agendas.

One of the most interesting statistics released in the relevant GoLocal article compared the boarding school heads’ salaries (averaged at “more than $420,000”) to those of college presidents (averaged at $410,523). These figures have been making waves in the Milton community; when the information was released this summer, student comments on Facebook ranged from “$$$ team” to “That’s more than the President of the United States.”

In response to these statistics, Mr. Bloom made the point that, although a typical boarding school’s student body is a fraction of the size of a college’s enrollment, “boarding schools… have by definition greater responsibilities and challenges caring for a group of students who are younger [than college students]. In Milton’s case, the task is even greater, since the developmental needs range from kindergarteners through seniors.”

Mr. Bloom further added, “Over the past five years since [Mr. Bland’s arrival]… we have made great strides under his leadership. Among the many accomplishments are the completion of Milton’s first strategic plan and preparations for a capital campaign to support it. These building blocks… give Milton both resources and momentum to fulfill its strategy and mission.”

Some of the student body appears to give more weight to quality of leadership than to its effect on increasing tuition fees; Juliana Rogoff (II) said, “the best educators deserve to be paid the most.”

This news article has been recognized by Laurence S. Persky Memorial Award.

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Posted by Katie Berry on Sep 19 2014. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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